Echoes of Expression: Homegoing through Jazz and Art – NEA Big Read Book Club Series @ NJMH

Join us for “Echoes of Expression,” a multi-sensory exploration of the acclaimed book “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi.

This free book club series spans five unique events that integrate the novel’s powerful themes with live jazz performances, art creation, and engaging discussions. Space is limited and registration is required—be one of the first three registrants to receive a personalized signed copy of the book!

Featured artists include: Noelle William, Steven G. Fullwood and Jaimee Todd

Featured musicians include: Abdou Mboup, Aaron Rimbui, Loli de la Rosa, T.K. Blue, Alva Nelson, George Coleman, Jr. and  Marcus McLaurine

Registration for this event will enroll you in the entire book club series at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem. If you are interested in participating in the series held at the Queens Library, please visit THIS event page.

Locations & Dates:

National Jazz Museum in Harlem – 58 W 129th St Ground Floor, 2203, New York, NY 10027

  • Kick-off Event: Wednesday, May 22nd at 7 PM
  • Book Clubs
    • Wednesday – May 29th at 7 PM
    • Wednesday – June 5th at 7 PM
    • Wednesday – June 12th at 7 PM
  • Culminating Event: Sunday, June 23rd at 2 PM

Event Details:

Kick-off Event:
Embark on your “Homegoing” experience at our opening event, featuring a cultural showcase with remarks from the author Yea Gyasi, vibrant live performances, and an interactive art exhibit.

All attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the book.

Three Book Clubs:
Participate in three engaging book clubs where each session uniquely combines literature with jazz and art to deepen the understanding of “Homegoing’s” narratives:

  • History and Storytelling: Explore historical themes enhanced by live jazz and interactive art workshops.
  • Freedom and Struggle: Examine the book’s themes of liberty and conflict through thematic performances and artistic creations.
  • Laughter and Tears: Delve into the emotional spectrum of the book accompanied by expressive music and art

Culminating Event (at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem):
58 W 129th St Ground Floor, 2203, New York, NY 10027

The series concludes with a celebration of the insights and artistic expressions generated from the discussions and activities. This final event features community-led dialogues and a closing jazz performance that encapsulates the themes of “Homegoing,” honoring the shared exploration.

Join us in celebrating this unique exploration of literature, music, and art. Your presence enriches these transformative experiences.

Noelle Williams whose work is at the crossroads of history, culture, and public engagement. Her work illuminates African American stories of liberation over the past three centuries. As a public humanities specialist, historian, artist, researcher, and curator, her multifaceted approach has been recognized by the New York Times, Star-Ledger, and other media and institutions.

Her ongoing multimedia project, “Black Power! 19th Century,” delves into the influence of 19th-century Black liberation movements on modern culture. Her most recent project is a gallery installation, “Stay: The Black Women of 19th-Century Newark,” at the Newark Museum of Arts’ Ballantine House.

Abdou Mboup was born in the small town of Kebemer, Senegal to a family of oral historians and musicians. Having studied traditional drum under the tutelage of his family, Abdou soon became a key figure in the development of the Mbalax style (Senegalese dance music). Mboup has played with the Dakar based group Xalam, Jon Hassell, Nina Simone, Joe Zawinul Syndicate, Kenny Barron, Harry Belafonte, Michel Petrucciani, Eddy Louiss, Ron Carter and more. He currently teaches World Music Rhythm at the New School University.

Steven G. Fullwood is an archivist, editor, and writer. He is the co-founder of the Nomadic Archivists Project which partners with organizations, institutions, and individuals to establish, preserve, and enhance collections that explore the African Diasporic experience. Currently, he serves as the coordinator for Marking Time, Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration project, curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood. Steven manages the traveling exhibition and leads Archiving Marking Time, an initiative to help individuals and organizations associated with the project with their archival needs.

Among the most well-known and respected figures in East African Jazz is pianist, keyboardist, composer and producer Aaron Rimbui. Rimbui, a Kenyan native based out of New York City, (born Harun Kimathi Rimbui, October 15, 1979) is a music and artistic director, bandleader, festival curator, radio host, recording artist and most notably a refined live performer who has shared his incredible talent before international audiences. He has released 5 albums and is the winner of the 2018 Mzantsi Jazz Award for Best International Collaboration Album for his album, Kwetu. He has been nominated for multiple awards including All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in 2022 for Best Male Artiste in East Africa and a second nomination in 2023 by Soundcity MVP in their biggest category, Song of the Year for his work on Bald Men Love Better with Bien-Aime Baraza of Sauti Sol.

Jaimee Todd is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist who currently works and resides in New York City.She has exhibited her work in various prominent venues which include Instagram headquarters, Apple, the National Black Theatre, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Rutgers University-Newark, and the U.S. State Department.

Recognized for her talent and contributions to the arts, Todd was recently selected as an artist fellow through the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning ARTworks program.In addition to her exhibitions, Todd has published in a number of publications, including All She Makes Magazine and Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.

Loli de la Rosa is a guitarist, composer, producer and educator from Puerto Rico based in New York City since 2021. Although new to New York, de la Rosa has already headlined and performed at some of the city’s leading venues, such as The Jazz Gallery, Birdland, Smalls Jazz Club and Ornithology Jazz Club. She currently occupies the guitar chair in the Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) blues workshop band and program manager of Next Jazz Legacy.

T.K. Blue, Saxophonist, Flautist, Composer, Arranger, and Educator, or Blue, Talib Kibwe’s nickname, appears on over 85 recordings and performed with such artists as Don Cherry; Jaki Byard’s Apollo Stompers; Ted Daniels’ Big Band; Abdullah Ibrahim; Miriam Makeba; Randy Weston—T.K. was also his musical director and arranger; Sam Rivers; Archie Shepp; Xalam (from Senegal); Charli Persip; Sahib Shihab; Benny Bailey; George Lewis; Rufus Reid; Dizzy Gillespie; Pharoah Sanders; Dewey Redman; Andy Bey; Melba Liston; Patti Bown; Chico Hamilton; Carl Allen; Stefon Harris; Randy Brecker; Regina Carter; Bobby McFerrin; Dee Dee Bridgewater; Jimmy Scott; Jayne Cortez; Benny Powell; Mal Waldron; Winard Harper; Russell Malone; Gregoire Maret; Etienne Charles; Candido Camera; Bobby Sanabria; Steve Turre; Mulgrew Miller; Warren Wolf; Monty Alexander; and Arturo O’Farrill, just to name a few.

In 2017 T.K. released Amour, his 11th CD as a leader, cited as one of the best jazz recordings of the year by Downbeat Magazine (four stars).

Support and Partnerships:

This series is generously funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest Big Read program. We are grateful for the partnership with Queens Public Library, which has been instrumental in bringing this enriching event to our community.

Wed, May 22
7:00 pm

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

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